Record $19 Million Settlement for Police Killing in Colorado Leads to Training Changes for Local and State Officers

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By The Vanguard Staff

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, CO – A family here in Colorado announced a $19 million settlement with Clear Creek County, the State of Colorado, the Town of Georgetown, and the City of Idaho Springs—the largest known settlement for a police killing in the state—in response to a lawsuit over the killing of their son, Christian.

The family also insisted on changes in policing in the state.

According to CBC radio, Christian’s SUV got stuck by the mountain town of Silver Plume in June, 2022. He called the police, and body cam footage from the officer showed “he told them he was scared and refused to get out of the car. They eventually smashed the window and tasered him. When he grabbed a knife, an officer shot him five times.”

“At one point, from inside the car, Christian put his hands up to the window in the shape of a heart,” the footage showed,” said CBC radio.

“They just had no humanity. They had no sympathy for what Christian was going through,” father Simon Glass said in an interview with As It Happens guest host Helen Mann, along with his wife Sally, who added, “They just murdered a really good kid … a really sweet, kind kid.”

Later in 2022, a grand jury “indicted two former officers, sheriff’s deputy Andrew Buen and his supervisor Kyle Gould. Buen is charged with second-degree murder. Gould is charged with criminally negligent homicide. They have not yet been tried,” reported CBC.

“Any of the seven officers there could have stopped this simply by saying something. They want to empower law enforcement to have this courage,” family lawyer Siddhartha H. Rathod told The Associated Press.

News media reported the settlement was more than financial—it includes changes to policing in Colorado.

Clear Creek County will “establish a crisis response team and its sheriff’s office will train and certify all deputies in crisis intervention; the state of Colorado, which had three officers on the scene of Glass’s killing…will create a virtual reality training scenario for the Colorado State Patrol based on the shooting,” focused on “de-escalation in stressful situations involving officers from different agencies.”

“The program focuses on encouraging officers to intervene if they think a fellow officer is going too far or needs to step away from an incident,” said CBC radio.

“When you’re managing a police force, you need to know who you’re employing, you need to know that they are good people, you need to know that they can show some humanity when needed, that they’ll behave appropriately, and that they’ll keep each other in line, and that when something goes wrong, they’ll report it. And I think that is the key thing that I think is missing here,” said Simon Glass, the father.

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